17ChangeGoodNo matter how successful we become or how important the world says we are, there’s one thing we all could use a little more of: encouragement. Few things cost less or prove more deeply beneficial than a thoughtful arm around the shoulder and a kind word or two.

As a longtime husband, I can almost feel the strength surge into my body when my wife sends me out the door with words like, “I’ll be loving you!” or welcomes me home with, “I missed you so much today!” I feel important. I feel needed. And I’m encouraged to share that same thing with others. That’s how encouragement works. It’s highly contagious, and practically leaps from one person to the next. 

Life is so much more incredibly short than we give it credit for being. At 13, the time until high school graduation seems like an eternity away. But just a few years later, and you’re beginning to measure time in terms of “years remaining.” I don’t mean that in a morbid sense, it’s just that more and more I find myself desiring to become the person I needed when I was younger. As you read these few words today, I hope you’ll grab hold of the power you have to make someone else’s day. 

As a Christian believer and follower, I find plenty of hope and encouragement in reading the Bible and allowing the words on those pages to spring to life inside me. It’s a joy getting to know God better through reading about his personality and characteristics, and I highly recommend it. As I read the things Jesus taught his early followers, his ability to be perfectly honest and explain life to them amazes me! He took time to encourage countless people directly — many of them were social outsiders, and there were also a good many who were part of the “in” crowd socially, politically, or both.

The thing was, he offered encouragement. And his ministry grew. I can’t fathom a legacy larger than that of Jesus, and none more positive. And I can’t help but honor that legacy by extending a hand or a kind word to the people I come in contact with. 

Whether it’s a simple note or letter to a family member, a text to a friend or a calming word to an overworked waitress at a busy restaurant — you have the power to change the day. For good. And I hope you will.

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